Aggregated observed glacier surface type maps, Svalbard
Firn is the many layers of old snow built up over time to form the beginnings of a glacier. In contrast to the equilibrium line, the firn line position will smooth out yearly variations and show long-term trends. The area extent of one of the classified areas shows a remarkable correlation with glacier mass balance, which can be used for mass balance prediction.
The Svalbard glacier surface type (GST) product includes four classes: glacier ice, superimposed ice, firn and dry snow.
indicator variables, Svalbard
Glacier surface type
The following climate-change indicator variable products have been defined for the first operational version of the EuroClim service:
• Glacier Firn Area
(GFA) (single value per glacier)
• Glacier Balance Area (GBA) (annual)
An example of a glacier surface type (GST) product for Svalbard